God is Nigh

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Our ancient dogwood tree has just come into flower on this Easter morning. It always did have a fine sense of timing.

We’ve been here 40 years, but the tree was here first. Dogwoods can live up to 80 years, says Mr. Nature; but we don’t know when this tree was planted.

Even more remarkable, on the very same day, our ancient tulip has bloomed. Tulips live for 20 years, sometimes a little more. But this, too, was here when we moved in. It used to burst forth into one spectacular, bright red flower. Now it has four instead of one. We hope the squirrels don’t eat the flowers, as used to be their custom. They left it alone last year.

These (even the squirrels) are God’s handiwork. He imagined them, and then created them. They are here because He put them here. Their beauty is one of His countless gifts to us.

But even more than beauty, the dogwood and the tulip, and all the rest of God’s creation, have something important to tell us: God is nigh. Always.

The Messiah Has Come!

I am writing this through tears of joy.

Yes, “Bible movies” can be problematic, and are certainly no substitute for Scripture. Nevertheless, this scene from The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), in which Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead–well, what can I say? I’m overcome!

This helps me to imagine what it would have been like to have been there, on the scene, to witness this miracle. It would have been overwhelming.

If you cannot believe in Jesus by the things He said, or by the things the prophets said about Him–then believe in Him for the sake of the works which He did, which no one else could ever do. This is what He taught us.


By Request, ‘Rise Again’

Requested by Erlene, here is Rise Again by Dallas Holm.

Rejoice, rejoice in Easter!

Now let me see if I can find and post my favorite Easter movie clip for you.

‘Christ the Lord Is Risen Today’

For me, this is the Easter hymn: Christ the Lord is Risen Today. Words by Charles Wesley. Sung by the Joslin Grove Choral Society. Inspiration by the Holy Spirit.

He is risen, and He shall raise us, too. That is all we need to know.

‘Burdens Are Lifted at Cavalry’

The Voice of Eden again, this time singing co-ed: Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary.

I don’t know where in India these brothers and sisters of our come from, but I’m as sure as I can be that their sweet singing pleases God. I find their example inspiring. It isn’t so easy to be a Christian, in certain parts of the world. We here in the West have very little to contend with, compared to these new Christians. May the Lord Our God awaken our courage–and our zeal.

An Easter Prayer

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Father in Heaven, on this day, the day between Good Friday and Easter, we proclaim that Jesus Christ Our Lord was dead and laid in a tomb, prior to His Resurrection. We proclaim these things as truth, now and forever.

Lord, this is an evil age. We have important people, even religious leaders, even leaders in the Church, making Christ equal with other gods who are no gods, and making unbelief equal with faithfulness to Jesus Christ. And because we see as men see, the things we see make even many of your saints downhearted.

We are your people, the sheep of your hand. Make us also, O Lord, your oxen, strong to labor.

Grant power to this Easter holiday, power to enthrone Christ, whose right it is to rule Creation: power to enthrone Him on the earth, and power to enthrone Him in our hearts. We cannot know when You, Father, will send your Son back to earth: that day, be it tomorrow or a thousand years from now, is known only to you. But Jesus’ throne can be set up in our hearts now.

O Lord Our God, whatever your timetable may be (for a thousand years in your sight is as a watch in the night), exalt Our Savior among the heathen, exalt Him in the earth: and let Him be exalted now, even now, in our hearts.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Glorious! ‘Up From the Grave He Arose’

This is the Voice of Eden, eight voices, singing Up From the Grave He Arose–thank you, brothers! Turn up the volume, sing along: this is Christ’s triumph. “Earth could not keep its prey/ He tore the bars away…” Jesus Christ, our Savior and our King!

‘O Sacred Head, Now Wounded’

This is Good Friday, and this hymn, by Johann Sebastian Bach, reminds us why we mark this day–O Sacred Head, Now Wounded, sung by the choir at Kings College, Cambridge.

He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.

This is Jesus Christ the Son of God, Our Lord.

‘Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee’

Hey! Easter’s almost here!

Okay, we’ve got a couple thousand people in the Royal Albert Hall to sing this for you–Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, music by Beethoven, a project of the Holy Spirit. Turn it up, turn it way up!